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Standard Knowledge for Robots

By NIST News

May 26, 2015

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A working group of 166 experts from 23 countries has developed the IEEE Standard for Ontologies for Robotics and Automation (CORA), a global standard for capturing and conveying the knowledge that robots possess.

Ontology is a philosophical term that denotes the study of things that exist and how they are grouped and related to each other. Ontology, when applied to robotics and automation, specifies key concepts, properties, relationships, and self-evident truths in a particular domain of activity.

The new standard is designed to simplify programming, extend the information processing and reasoning capabilities of robots, and enable clear robot-to-robot and human-to-robot communication.

CORA establishes a formal way of representing knowledge that robots possess to perform tasks in their particular area of activity, enabling efficient and reliable exchanges of information and integration of new data. CORA also defines what a robot is in the scope of the standard, defines common concepts, and provides an organizational framework for succeeding efforts to develop for specific classes of robots.

"As technology advances, robots are growing in their capabilities and, someday, may become jacks of many--if not all--trades," says the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology's Craig Schlenoff.

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